We’ve drank Noon Chai in Kashmir and Maghrebi mint tea in Morocco. We’ve even drank tea with Himalayan yak butter and salt in Tibet – so believe us when we say there’s nobody in the world who does afternoon tea like the English do. To celebrate ‘Afternoon Tea Week’ in the UK, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite countryside hotels to enjoy our nation’s favourite tradition.
St James’s Hotel, London
St James’s Hotel pairs together two classic British past times to create ‘It’s all in the game’ – their board game-inspired afternoon tea. Highlights of the intricately crafted tea include miniature dulcey chocolate chess pieces stood on a shortbread chessboard, dark chocolate monopoly counters filled with a blood orange mousse and Battenberg dice. The best part is that all of the games featured in the afternoon tea are available to play, making it a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon.
A one night stay at St James’s Hotel costs from £295 per room (two sharing) on a room-only/B&B basis.
The Greenway Hotel and Spa, Cheltenham
The town of Cheltenham is the cultural centre of the Cotswolds, offering up a multitude of art and music festivals every summer. The Greenway Hotel and Spa often hosts events in-keeping with the artistic nature of the town. Their monthly ‘Poetry Afternoon with Cream Tea’ is a chance to hear modern and contemporary poetry readings, presented by the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Players, whilst enjoying a full traditional spread of finger sandwiches (no crusts, of course) and cakes, paired with fine teas.
A one night stay at The Greenway costs from £99 per room (two sharing) on a room-only/B&B basis.
The Capital, London
The Capital honours tradition with its Great British Afternoon Tea. This indulgent selection was designed by Head Chef Tom Brown and pastry chef Clive Outlaw (Nathan Outlaw’s father). Their creation plays on their love for ‘Great British Food’, featuring afternoon tea favourites such as Victoria sponge, Bakewell tart and crumpets alongside scones and homemade jams. Pair with a glass of Champagne or a signature tea-infused cocktail, because why on earth not?
A one night stay at The Capital costs from £246 per room (two sharing) on a room-only/B&B basis.
Dormy House, Cotswolds
At Dormy House, guests and visitors are invited to tuck into one of the finest afternoon tea spreads in the Cotswolds. The English afternoon tea with a twist offers a platter of freshly made sandwiches, quiches, fancy cakes and scones slathered in cream and jam, together with a broad selection of fine teas from traditional English breakfast, to spectacular flowering osmanthus. If you’re greedy like us, you can order a plate of sausage rolls or cheese scones with smoked salmon and caviar.
A one night stay at Dormy House costs from £220 per room (two sharing) on a room-only/B&B basis.
The Grand Eastbourne, Eastbourne
On the last Sunday of every month, Shelley van Loen and the Palm Court Strings Orchestra play music from the 1920s in the elegant Great Hall of the Grand Eastbourne Hotel, while the kitchen serves up quintessentially British sandwich fillings such as coronation chicken, cream cheese cucumber alongside freshly baked scones with clotted cream.
A one night stay at The Grand Eastbourne costs from £150 per room (two sharing) on a room-only/B&B basis.
Each of these hotels are members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Book by visiting www.slh.com or calling 0800 0482 314